Series creator Hideo Kojima is gone, but Metal Gear does indeed survive — sort of. Metal Gear Survive is available now, and early impressions from fans and critics are decidedly mixed.
The game moves away from the stealth focus of previous Metal Gear titles in favor of a mix of survival and action. With a story that takes place in an alternate dimension populated by zombies, it bears little resemblance to Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain, though it does make use of its engine and some of its gameplay systems.
Writing for IGN, Chloi Rad called the world “bland,” and a “mediocre base-building action-survival game” even when ignoring Survive‘s gaping plot holes. She also criticized the game’s uninteresting side activities, as well as its tedious first few hours.
Other issues related to the game’s online connectivity have also arisen. Giant Bomb’s Jeff Gerstmann was disconnected from the game as it was saving, only to find that his progress was lost. He was also unable to resume playing without completely relaunching the game from his console’s home menu.
Though Survive is certainly a departure from the other games in the series, it does still have some focus on stealth, and players can even send zombies up to their base as they did with soldiers in The Phantom Pain. Combat is a mix of third-person shooting like we’ve seen from the series before, as well as melee attacks. Fences and other obstacles can also be created to defend against zombies on the fly, but you must monitor your hunger and thirst levels in order to make it through missions in one piece.
When Metal Gear Survive was announced in 2016, series creator Hideo Kojima expressed his confusion, questioning why Konami would insert zombies into a series known for espionage. Though there haven’t been literal zombies in a Metal Gear game before, Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots did feature a boss who was essentially a vampire. Perhaps blood-sucking monsters have a place.
Metal Gear Survive is available now in the United States for Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC. The game will release in Europe on February 22.